Enjoy the video where you will see for yourself how simple it is to make baked apples. A single ingredient recipe that you will love to love.
Oven – 350-450F
Temperature variations will vary the end results. I cook mine in the convection toaster oven at 400F for 60 minutes (sometimes I preheat for a few minutes sometimes I don’t).
Experiment and try out different types of apples because the results are quite different. Having said that I will say that Granny Smiths are something I don’t ever use for “baked apples”
Cooking Pan (glass vs metal)
Heat conduction and cooking in different materials influences end results. I like my glass pans. I do so because I have a lot of them for gluten free cooking because the glass offers me a window to the bottom center of the cooking pan when I making gluten free quick breads. I have also found that the additional cooking time in the “glass” adds different qualities to what I am cooking (metal cools very quick once out of the oven, the glass will stay hot for much longer and that variation will change the end results). I also like glass pans because I prioritize ease of storage (all my glass pans have lids) and clean up.
I add a little water to the pan because it keeps my apples more “wet” and the remaining water becomes an apple syrup after a night in the fridge.
When to eat them?
Some people prefer things hot out of the oven. I find that the apples have the least amount of aroma and flavor straight out of the oven. Once they cool they have a bit more, but I find them sweetest and most desirable after they had a chance to rest overnight.
Experiment – Make it interesting and fun
Explore. Try different things. Buy the same apples. Cook 25% in metal, 25% in glass, 25% with water, 25% without. Try different apples. Try them hot, cooled and then the next day. The subtle differences are actually quite noticeable to a seeking palate.
If I have too many apples or get tired of eating baked apples I will make apple spice quick bread and use the baked apples cubed in the bread or use them in cinnamon rice with plain yogurt or soy milk (unsweetened). There are so many options it is hallucinating. Be creative in the kitchen. Nothing in the kitchen is an “error”, it is just simply different than I expected. My errors are my best opportunities.
Valuable Tips and Information
Only Organic Apples – growing apples have extremely high toxicity retention. Not eating organic apples defeats the health benefits they offer. Please see the Dirty Dozen list with the Environmental Working Group for more information about which fruits and vegetables are the most toxic https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty_dozen_list.php and see the Clean Fifteen list to find out which fruits and vegetables are safe even if they are not organic https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/clean_fifteen_list.php
Apples are a good source of prebiotics. Prebiotics are the foods that feed the good bacterial microbiomes in your intestine. If they have enough food, they populate and keep your intestine healthy. Good bacteria and a healthy intestine keep you healthy. These populations need food to survive and propagate to do good work for your body. Keeping your intestine healthy can reverse inflammatory conditions, improve emotional and mental health, moods and is even important for brain health and preventing degenerative diseases. Check out Dr David Perlmutters book “Grain Brain” to learn how the health of your intestinal bacteria are directly related to your brain health.
Apples work with the body to reduce intestinal inflammation (small intestine and colon) as well as infections, arthritis, goiter, gout and herpes. They benefit and support the prostate, acid stomach and also benefit certain people with arthritis.
Apples are high in malic acid. If your body does well with natural food source malic acid then buy and eat your apples as soon as they are harvested because the longer an apple is stored the lower its natural malic acid content. Malic acid is not influenced by the cooking process. Malic acid can relieve chronic pain, fatigue, aids certain people with fibromyalgia and may maintain health and repair of the liver for certain people. If you benefit greatly from eating apples, you may consider buying malic acid supplements to see if that is the aspect of the apple that you are most benefiting from.
The pectin in apples may protect against heart disease, radiation, cleanses the bladder, lowers cholesterol (because of its bile binding properties), provides a medium to bind to bile and toxicity to prevent reabsorption before it has been eliminated form the body, lowers blood pressure, helps to maintain circulation and internal health, prevents lung disorders and may stabilize blood sugar.
I bet you didn’t know… that apples mellow with time as they consume their high malic acid content for energy. This process changes the aroma and flavor of your apple ever so slightly as this process unfolds. In traditional times when life revolved around food, apples were harvested and stored in cool dark places and regularly “tasted” to see when they were at their prime for enjoyment!
I will close with my typical reminder. Let your body’s responses (function, emotions, mental states, behaviors, sleep quality and body comfort) be the decision maker of your food choices rather than your intellect or an “expert”. If your body does well and you feel better eating apples then continue. If apples upset your system in any way then avoid them. Remember also that for your body a raw apple is VERY DIFFERENT from a cooked one. AND each type of apple has slightly different properties. While Granny smith apples do not produce great “baked apple” results they are great in apple pies, have the least amount of sugar and the highest amount of malic acid. If for some reason you notice your body does well with Granny Smith apples but not so well with other varieties there may very well be a reason. You don’t have to know “why”, but it would be wise to respect the guidance of your body as a better indicator than you mind or intellectual “expert” information.
Below are three books that are a part of my personal reference library. Each has invaluable yet entirely different information about food. These books make it easy to be curious and interested.
The Oxford Companion to Food by Alan Davidson
This book offers interesting food history and trivia type facts that are fascinating.
On Food and Cooking – The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee
This book offers explanations about different foods, some history, food chemistry and science type information. One of my all time favorite books. I use it to understand more, to find solutions and to understand why something may have gone awry in the kitchen with a preparation.
Prescription for Nutritional Healing by Phyllis Balch
This book offers valuable information about the nutritional, phytochemical and body reactions that foods have with your body.
Enjoy your baked apples. Be curious about how you like them best so that you are interested in making them more frequently and a more regular part of your lifestyle. Delicious Simplicity.